Mad Science: Druids Proven to Be the Least Hybrid Class!

Welcome readers to another experiment on Druid class design. On this blog, I’ll be more contemplative. I had this hunch about Druids while checking WoWhead MoP talent calculator. It took me a bit, and only had time to analyze a small part of the database (sorry about the sensationalist title, btw). But the results are already interesting.

I was thinking about hybridism and the whole discussion around Heart of the Wild talent. In short, it is meant to put us in conditions to perform off-roles during 45 sec.

The thing is the old talent description has as long as the Bible, because it had to introduce so many band-aids to make the off-role viable.

I had a suspicion that this off-role viability was greatly influenced by active and passive skills out of reach, due to Blizzard’s new division of Class Skills and Spec Skills. Just as a quick example, all Druids have access to Rejuvenation, Healing Touch and Tranquility – they are Class healing Skills (Spells, rather). But a Balance Druid will never have access to Lifebloom, since it is a Restoration Spec Skill. (Note: I am quite aware of the role that Nurturing and Killer Instincs play in off-role performance. They will be widely discussed on my next blog entry.)

I would like to stress this first assumption I had:

“Performing an off-role is limited by the lack passive and active skills out of reach.”

This would imply my second assumption:

“If a Class has more role specific skills available as Class Skills than skills locked out of reach as Spec Skills, this class is more versatile (i.e. more Hybrid).”

Maybe an example is necessary.

Flash of Light is an important Healing spell, which Holy Paladins actually put to use. It is a vital integrant of their main role rotation – depending on how things are going (triage healing ftw). However, it is a Class Skill, meaning it is available to Retribution and Protection Paladins as well. The same could be said about Divine Shield. Signature spell for a Protection Paladin, but a Class Skill nevertheless, available to Holy and Retribution Paladins as well.


So, my methodology was:

1)      Identify Skills that are vital for a given combat specialization. As an example, Arcane Missile is signature for an Arcane Mage, while Teleport: Dalaran is not;

2)      Mark those Skills as Class Skills or Spec Skills;

3)      Count each type and the Total of vital Skills (adding both Class and Spec Skills);

4)      Calculating the % of vital Skills that are available to all combat specializations (i.e. # of vital Class Skills/Total)

5)      The resulting % was considered, based on the 2 assumptions early mentioned, an indicator of Hybrid potential.

Well, what have I found? Druids look bad. Really bad. Here are my results:

Druid

Balance

 

Feral

 

Guardian

 

Restoration

Class Skills

3

Class Skills

6

Class Skills

6

Class Skills

3

Spec Skills

15

Spec Skills

9

Spec Skills

10

Spec Skills

18

Total

18

Total

15

Total

16

Total

21

%

17

%

40

%

38

%

14

Average %

27

Mage

Arcane

 

Fire

 

Frost

Class Skills

5

Class Skills

4

Class Skills

5

Spec Skills

6

Spec Skills

7

Spec Skills

7

Total

11

Total

11

Total

12

%

45

%

36

%

42

Average %

41

Paladin

Holy

 

Protection

 

Retribution

Class Skills

10

Class Skills

12

Class Skills

9

Spec Skills

16

Spec Skills

13

Spec Skills

12

Total

26

Total

25

Total

21

%

38

%

48

%

43

Average %

43

Notice that, just for kicks, I analyzed Mages, that don’t fit either the classic Hybrid description “being able to perform multiple roles whithout changing combat specialization” nor the most derived one “being able to perform multiple roles if changing the combat specialization”. But it can be seen as filling two purposes here: it still indicates versatility (i.e. a mob is immune to Fire, you can cast an Arcane spell and kill it), and function as a control group. How much versatility between specs does a pure class have?

On this tiny tiny sample size, the pure class showed a Hybrid / Versatility potential comparable to the other classical hybrid class studied – Mages have an average of 41% of their vital spells available to all specs, and Paladins have 43%.

Druids, in average, have 27% of their vital spells available to all combat specializations.

Druids, who are being designed to “be hybrids again”, in Blizzard’s words.

I think it might indicate a new approach to the whole hybrid class design thing. A better approach than consuming an entire talent tier to bake in hybridization. Especially if we are talking about our last talent tier.

Of course, I have a suggestion already designed, and I’ll post in a couple of days. I don’t want to overwhelm you guys with too much info. Plus, I would LOVE feedback based on the present blog entry. It will, of course, help me to polish my suggested design.

Do you see any mistakes? What do you think about it?

– Fakegamedesigner

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